By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

In their first contest of the year, the Brookings-Harbor High School softball team gave up three runs in the seventh inning in their 4-3 loss to the Gold Beach Panthers Monday afternoon.

andquot;For our first game, we looked good,andquot; said Coach Steve Padilla. andquot;We know we can improve, but I'm really proud of the way the girls played. We improved a tremendous amount through the course of the game.andquot;

Through the first five innings, the game was a pitcher's dual between the Bruins' Jessie Goergen and the Panthers' Molly Hockema.

andquot;(Jessie) pitched an excellent game for us,andquot; said Padilla.

Goergen used a solid Bruin defense to aid her in her five innings of shutout softball.

The infield was anchored by second baseman Jamie Kay and shortstop Kara Miller with Jennifer Jones playing in the corner at third and Lindsey Freeman held down first base.

On the other hand, Hockema tried to do it single-handedly.

Hockema had a no-hitter going through five innings and recorded 14 strikeouts for the game.

But she also gave up nine walks on the afternoon, which is what helped the Bruins start their rally in the sixth inning.

Freeman drew a walk to start the sixth and Kay followed up with the Bruins' first hit of the game, a double down the third baseline.

With runners on second and third, Jones ripped a double past the third basemen, scoring Freeman and Kay.

Two batters later, Miller hammered a single down the middle that scored Jones and gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Bruins gave up their first run of the game and headed into the final inning with a 3-1 lead.

The Bruins were unable to score in the top of the seventh and the Panthers had one more chance to get on the board.

With two outs and a runner on second, the Bruins needed only only one more putout to go home with their first win of the season.

But the Panthers had a different idea.

The next three batters registered consecutive hits and scored three straight runs, capping off a 4-3 come-from-behind victory for the Panthers.

Jones led the Bruins going 1-for-3 at the plate with one walk, one run, and two RBIs.

The next game for the Bruins is a doubleheader at Rogue River on Saturday, March 17 at noon.